Friday, October 24, 2008

pass me a spoon

On this dark rainy evening, I thought it was appropriate to eat a comfort food I'm passionate about: squash. My absolute favorite is buttercup squash; when I see them all piled up at Westborn, I get so excited that I want to fling myself into the bin and hug them all.

This is the way my family has always made squash. Some people bake it in a pan with an inch of water, some people microwave it or whatever. Poke around online and try things out, and decide what works best for you. Here's the Lymie method:

1. Find a squash.

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2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Get big knife and cut the squash in half. This isn't always easy, so be careful.

4. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard (or compost). Or save them and roast them like pumpkin seeds.

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5. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet (I line mine with non-stick foil so cleanup is easier. You can spray the foil or pan with cooking spray if you want, too). Stab the rind with a knife or fork so the steam will vent out.

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6. Stick it in the oven.

7. Wait.

8. It's done when the rind is very shiny, and syrupy-looking juices are pooling at the bottom. Push on the top with a fork and if it's soft, it's done. I cook mine for 30 - 50 minutes, depending on the squash.

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9. Scrape it out and dump it into a bowl, and if you're feeling really industrious, you can whip it with an electric mixer. Or if you just don't want to bother, you can eat it right out of the shell, which is what I did today. Add some butter, some brown sugar, and some salt, and mash it all up. You can even sprinkle on some cinnamon or nutmeg if you'd like.

10. Eat!

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A good squash cooks up slightly dry and mealy, sort of like a baked sweet or white potato. Sometimes you get a really wet or stringy one, which is disappointing. You never know what you're going to get until after you cook it. But keep trying!

Squash has lots of beta-carotene and carotonoids (antioxidants that fight diseases), as well as potassium and vitamins C and E. It is soooo good for you.

This site is great for identifying squash types, and gives cooking methods and recipes.

I love squash.

4 comments:

djh said...

you can also put the brown sugar and butter in the hollowed out squash before it cooks. it melts and the taste blends together. delish!

sandi said...

Wow, maybe I will try this.

Anonymous said...

I tried this at lunch today and loved it SO much that I made it again tonight for dinner. Thank you!
Rosanne

Andrea Runyan said...

haha, I've been doing exactly this method with exactly this type of squash (buttercup?).